Guelph mayor directs staff to find creative solutions to housing crisis

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie has signed three mayoral orders directing city staff to:

  • establish the 2025 confirmation budget at a property tax impact of under four per cent. Including information on free transit for high school students.
  • identify real estate opportunities for underutilized city-owned assets, including city-owned surface parking lots, which can be transformed into housing.
  • present information about the logistics, costs and processes required to establish a temporary structured encampment site for those currently experiencing homelessness.

“I am using the strong mayor powers to explore creative solutions to create much-needed housing, address homelessness and present a more affordable outlook on property taxes for our residents and businesses,”  Guthrie said in a statement. “I look forward to working with staff, Council and the community to move these issues forward in a meaningful and positive manner to ensure that these challenges are addressed.”

Guthrie first announced his intention to use strong mayor powers directions at the 2024 State of the City Address last month.

To address the local housing crisis, Guthrie has directed the Chief Administrative Officer to “identify strategic real estate partnerships on underutilized city-owned assets, including surface parking lots, for the purpose of building additional housing in the community”.

An update to address this work, including possible sites for consideration, should be reported to council by the end of June and must:

  • identify assets that can be redeveloped quickly.
  • Develop criteria that explores incentivizing the ability to further social, transitional, supportive, co-op or affordable housing units.
  • where parking lots are considered, evaluate the ability to maintain or realize a net gain of public parking, with emphasis in the downtown.
  • evaluate disposition, lease and joint venture models to help spur growth options.
  • Identify potential impacts to community service levels.

The mayor is required to share any mayoral directions made under the strong mayor powers in writing, to notify the city clerk and councillors when he does so, and to make notifications available to the public, subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

All mayoral directions are publicly available on


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.